Forty years after the Johnny Gosch disappearance, fear continues to fuel conspiracy theories in Iowa and beyond

Listen an audio version of this article here, or using the player at the bottom of the page. On Sept. 20, 1984, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech in Cedar Rapids as part of his reelection campaign. In it, he […]

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Michelle Martinko’s murder ‘haunted’ the Cedar Rapids community for 40 years. Now, her suspected killer is set to go on trial.

Dec. 19, 2018. Like every year, local news stations ran anniversary pieces describing the cold case of Michelle Martinko, an 18-year-old woman stabbed to death in Cedar Rapids in 1979. The facts of the case were recounted. A tip line scrolled across the bottom of the screen. The weather report would be next, and Martinko’s story would be […]

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How the Golden State Killer — and true-crime obsession — de-charmed ‘the Midwest of California’

I had passed by this quaint block countless times before on my bike commute to and from work, but this time it felt macabre as a horror story coalesced around me. The dissonance between the crime scenes I’d read about and their plain existence made my head swim. Seeing this unremarkable block through new eyes, I was struck by how normal

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